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Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star". But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At 11, she won her first international prize; at 18, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught". And at 21, she found "the one", the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned.
Then, in a London café, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.
In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Carolyn on 08-01-17
Intimate Look into Child Protegies
Would you consider the audio edition of Gone to be better than the print version?
Yes, very much because some parts were supported by the appropriate audio violin selections.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Main character, Min - this is an autobiography essentially and the story spends a lot of time "inside" her head.
What aspect of Rebecca Yeo’s performance would you have changed?
I felt her performance was unnecessarily melodramatic, especially at the beginning. Either her cadence became more relaxed and varied towards the end or I grew accustomed to it. Her performance felt forced.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Towards the end, I had trouble putting it down.
Any additional comments?
I would have enjoyed the book more if there were additional pieces of violin music added to the audio, especially when the author had taken time to develop the importance of that music in her professional and personal life. The book also has numerous references to classical music and having some familiarity to violin concertos would add to your enjoyment.
By robin on 05-15-17
If you love classical music, read this!
The story was very well written. It was so sad and frustrating to read, over and over, how Min's boyfriend, Matt, bullied and controlled her. So much so, that he was responsible for her violin being stolen, after he bullied her into leaving it in an unsafe place. And then he did not take responsibility for what he did; instead making it seem like it was her fault.
The reader has a lisp, which was distracting and annoying. Also, I wish I'd known, as I read the book, that it's possible now to download the music that goes along with the story. That should be made clear!